Harvard Faces Backlash for Hiring Calderón | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Harvard Faces Backlash for Hiring Calderón

The ex-Mexican president's bloody drug war legacy sparks protests over his new teaching position.


Harvard's controversial new teaching fellow.
Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman


| Share

Harvard's decision to hire former Mexican President Felipe Calderón has led to protests on both sides of the border. In anticipation of the controversial politician's one-year teaching appointment at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, petition website Change.Org has already collected nearly 33,000 signatures in opposition. Mexican political activist and poet Javier Sicilia has also sent a letter to the university, calling the former president’s appointment an affront to the victims of the bloodshed in Mexico. "We believe...that the appointment of President Calderón as a visiting fellow at the Kennedy school, is an insult to the victims of violence in Mexico," he wrote in a joint letter with Mexican academic Sergio Aguayo. The Kennedy School has defended their decision by arguing that an educational institution needs to welcome varying perspectives even if they generate controversy. “The unique opportunity to engage in direct discussion with a former head of state is one that many of our students value greatly, even if they may disagree with some of that leader’s policy positions,” says Kennedy School dean David Ellwood. During Calderón's six years in office, an estimated 70,000 people died due to drug war related violence within Mexico, while the amount of murders and violent crimes in the country also rose drastically. However, many academics believe that politicians with controversial legacies may offer a unique and beneficial learning experience for students. “[Calderon] managed the drug war poorly," says George Grayson, a government professor at The College of William & Mary, "but that is a subject he can discuss with students at Harvard."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv